5 Best Sling Bags in 2020

Based on hours of research, we’ve determined the best sling bags on the market today is the KAVU Rope Sling Bag. This high-quality bag is made from lightweight polyester and features dimensions of 20x11x3-inches, great for storing your personal belongings on the go. For extra comfort, the KAVU uses rope straps for a soft, durable carrying experience. Designed in Seattle, Washington, the bag also features a large assortment of patterns and styles to choose.

To find the best sling bags available to carry your gear, we began by examining critical factors, including each bag’s materials, available storage space, styling, and comfort. Depending on how you plan to use your bag, you may wish to seek out materials that are lightweight; however, those who want more styling might not mind trading the styling for a leather construction. Whether you need lots of storage space, or you want to make a fashion statement, we’ve got a sling bag recommendation for everyone. Keep reading to learn more about the best sling bags.

Top 5 Best Sling Bag in 2020

 #1  KAVU Rope Sling Bag

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This stellar bag provides a reliable option as a daily carry thanks to its lightweight polyester design. This product stands above the rest when it comes to comfort thanks to the included soft, yet durable, rope straps.

Pros
  • Straps unparalleled all-day comfort
  • Lightweight polyester design
  • Fun and wild pattern options
Cons
  • Not a ton of storage space

The KAVU Rope Sling Bag presents itself as a fantastic option for carrying your personal belongings around town or while traveling. The standout feature of the KAVU is its rope straps; these straps are extremely soft, yet durable, and allow you to carry the bag for prolonged periods without worry. The lightweight polyester design also adds to the bag’s overall portability.

If you’re looking for excitement, you can pick from a fun and wild variety of pattern options to let your personality shine through. While the KAVU does provide ample space for day traveling, as well as two front pockets, this bag might not be suitable for those with a large number of belongings, as the storage space is somewhat limited. If you’re trying to transport something bulky like a laptop, you might want to take a look at one of the best laptop bags instead.

 #2  OutdoorMaster Sling Bag

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need a bit more room, this option provides enough space to fit a 10.2” iPad. In addition to a zippered pocket, it also provides additional carrying capabilities with a strap pocket and bottle pocket

Pros
  • Large enough for tablets and computers
  • Features strap & bottle pockets
  • Includes hidden anti-theft storage
Cons
  • Interior lacks pockets

Carrying around your daily essentials might include an iPad or other tablet; that’s no problem for the OutdoorMaster Sling Bag, which can carry up to a 10.2” device. Made from a durable, lightweight material, the bag is comfortable to carry, and the rear features a breathable ribbon that reduces sweating over prolonged periods of usage.

We also like the addition of extra pockets, including the one placed on the strap for quick access and the one specially designed for water bottles. There is also a hidden anti-theft storage pocket, where you can store your valuables. We only wish it contained better interior organization pockets to keep your stuff from getting jumbled. If you’re looking for something that will keep your clothes wrinkle free on your next trip, consider the best garment bag too.

 #3  Lecxci Outdoor Chest Sling Bag

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need to carry around your belongings without torturing your wallet, this affordable option is a strong pick. Made from 100% nylon, this bag is not only lightweight and soft, but also waterproof which makes it a great camera sling bag.

Pros
  • Durable & scratch resistant
  • Water-resistant nylon
  • Zipper pocket for keys & money
Cons
  • Zippers could be more durable

Lecxci provides an Outdoor Chest Sling bag that’s great for hiking or trekking around the city. Assembled from 100% nylon, this bag offers waterproofing so that you don’t need to worry about getting caught in the rain. The bag’s materials also help to make it sweat and scratch-resistant during outdoor activities, with an adjustable strap for added comfort. This will quickly become the most reliable, and overall best waterproof bag that you own.

The included zipper pocket is great for storing smaller items such as keys or money, and they can be retrieved easily. A side pouch is also included for carrying sunscreen spray, water bottles, and compact umbrellas. We do believe the zippers could be more durable, as we found them to be somewhat finicky to open and close.

 #4  XINCADA Mens Messenger Sling Bag

Award: BEST MATERIALS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This bag offers a strong, durable messenger bag built from top-quality materials, including cotton canvas and cowhide leather — the result is a large-capacity bag that you can use for years without worry.

Pros
  • A high-quality hardware and cotton build
  • Decorated with cowhide leather
  • Secure buckle closing buckle
Cons
  • On the more expensive side

If you’re looking for a bag that screams quality, then XINCADA has the perfect option for your needs; this bag has been fashioned from high-quality cotton canvas — a material known for its lightweight nature and durability. Additionally, the bag features accents and decorations made from cowhide leather. Lots of storage is also available thanks to its size of 13.4x9x5.9-inches.

We’re also fans of the buckle mechanism that XINCADA chooses to employ on the primary holding area; instead of a zipper, you’ll find a secure closing buckle. The one downside to the bag is its price; it’s more expensive than some options out there, but it’s still a reasonable bargain for the quality provided; it’s one of our favorite sling bags for men. Definitely one of the best messenger bags for men that we have tried.

 #5  Chrysansmile Genuine Leather Shoulder Sling Bag

Award: BEST 100% COWHIDE OPTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re a fan of leather, then take a closer look at this option from Chrysansmile, featuring genuine leather and a cotton liner; it’s available in standard leather color options, including black and brown.

Pros
  • Features pass-through for headphones
  • Genuine high-quality leather construction
  • Soft and gentle interior cotton lining
Cons
  • Can be damaged by water

When it comes to high-fashion, sling bags might not be the first thought on your mind, but Chrysansmile makes an excellent attempt to change that with its Genuine Leather Shoulder Sling bag. Crafted from 100% authentic leather, this bag feels much higher quality than its low price tag. We also enjoy the soft and gentle cotton lining to protect your gear, such as a cell phone.

An odd, but potentially useful feature this bag sports is a small passthrough hole for wires, which means you can keep your gadgets inside your bag, but still listen to wired headphones, making this the best sling bag for Nintendo Switch that we tried. The only downside to note is that due to the nature of leather, you won’t want to get this bag wet due to the risk of damaging it.

How We Decided

To find the best sling bag on the market, we began by establishing the most important features for each bag, including the used build materials, available storage space, overall styling, and comfort. Next, we set minimum criteria, so that the options displayed in this guide are of the highest quality. Smile knowing that you can purchase with confidence and the sling bag perfect for you.

When it comes to construction materials, we selected lightweight and durable options; selections on our list include nylon, canvas, and leather. Nylon makes for a fantastic water-resistant bag, while canvas provides robust durability, and leather offers classic high-fashion styling. For available storage space, we made sure that all bags had multiple exterior pockets, in addition to the center storage area, as well as the ability to carry a small tablet.

The overall styling is a personal decision, and we want to leave it up to you, so our options all include multiple style choices — you can pick your favorite color or funky pattern. Lastly, a bag needs to be comfortable, in addition to material choices, we selected bags that include breathable backings, soft rope strings, and switchability, so that you can choose which shoulder to sling your bag.

Best Sling Bag Buyer’s Guide

Features

  1. Materials: What do you want from a sling bag? If you want a bag that will help you if caught in a downpour, select nylon for its water-resistant fashion. On the other hand, if a durable fabric is desired, you may wish to select canvas. Lastly, nothing is more high-fashion than leather.
  2. Storage Space: In addition to the primary storage space, which should have enough room to house your laptop, tablet, or books, check for extra pockets. Small zippered compartments on the strap are useful for items such as cash, credit cards, and keys. Zippered pockets are a secure choice to help prevent pickpocketing in large crowds.
  3. Styling: Choosing a bag based on its style is an entirely personal choice, but take into account where you plan on using it. For example, you might want leather, but if you are using it in a humid or wet environment, you may want to reconsider.
  4. Comfort: There is a good chance that you’ll be carrying your bag for long periods, so keep an eye out for enhanced comfort features. Some of our favorites include breathable backings that prevent your back from sweating, padded or rope shoulder straps, and pockets positioned in easy to access places.

Sling Bag FAQs

Are sling bags good for travel?

Sling bags, also known as sling packs, are excellent options for traveling and help keep your valuables on your person and secure. While backpacks are recommended for long treks, sling bags are an excellent small and portable option that won’t get in the way of your vacation fun.

What should you carry in a sling bag?

Carry anything you want in a sling bag! Sling bags are great for storing everyday essentials, such as your laptop or tablet, snacks for road trips, sunscreen and towels for the beach, books for school, and much more. Just be sure that you get a sling bag of an appropriate size for what you need to carry.

What is a sling backpack?

While a standard backpack is rectangular and features two straps, a sling bag is typically triangle-like with a single strap. A sling backpack is worn over a single shoulder with the strap running across your torso -- known as cross body. The pack can be positioned to your side or on your back.

What are sling bags popular?

Due to their ease of use and portability, sling bags have become popular options over the classic backpack. For many male wearers, the sling bag presents itself as an excellent alternative to a woman’s purse -- able to store a wide variety of items.

Are sling bags bad for your back?

Some individuals with back pain may prefer to wear a more traditional backpack. Due to sling bags placing most weight on a single shoulder, it is not as evenly distributed as a standard backpack. In general, a sling bag is best for lightweight carry, rather than heavy loads.

Are sling bags comfortable?

Sling bags can be more comfortable than backpacks due to their lightweight design. Sling bags are easy to transport when not in use, as they can be stowed away easily in your luggage.

Is a KAVU bag worth it?

We certainly think so, as we gave our top pick to the KAVU Rope Sling Bag; it provides a reliable option as a daily carry thanks to its lightweight polyester design. KAVU stands above the rest when it comes to comfort, thanks to the included soft, yet durable, rope straps.

What are other sling bag manufacturers to check out?

Patagonia sling bag products, along with EDC sling bag options and Osprey sling bags are other excellent options to check out if you want to continue researching beyond our list.

Also why not check out:

Michael Archambault

Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade, Michael has covered the consumer technology space, reporting on the latest industry offerings while crafting comprehensive how-to guides, hands-on-reviews, and opinion-editorials. Michael has worked for Amazon.com's DPReview, Mobile Nations' Windows Central, onMSFT, PetaPixel, Dotdash’s Lifewire, and Digital Trends.

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